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Who is Edward Bernays?

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    Sherece El
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    Edward Bernays – nephew of Sigmund Freud and known as the “father of social relations”. Bernays defined the profession of “counsel on public relations” as a “practicing social scientist” whose “competence is like that of the industrial engineer, the management engineer, or the investment counselor in their respective fields”. To assist clients, PR counselors used “understanding of the behavioral sciences and applying them – sociology, social psychology, anthropology, history, etc.” In Propaganda, his most important book, Bernays argued that the scientific manipulation of public opinion was necessary to overcome chaos and conflict in society.

    Bernays’ celebration of propaganda helped define public relations, but it did not win the industry many friends. In a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter described Bernays and Ivy Lee as “professional poisoners of the public mind, exploiters of foolishness, fanaticism and self-interest”. History showed the flaw in Bernays’ identification of the “manipulation of the masses”—as a natural and necessary feature of a democratic society—when the fascist rise to power in Germany demonstrated that propaganda could be used to subvert democracy as easily as it could be used to “resolve conflict”.

    Source reference:en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays

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